It's Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week. That's right. We have a whole special week dedicated just to us.
Earlier, I was reminiscing over text with my Mom about how things used to be and how far I've come. I feel like most parents eagerly wait for that one text a week that they get from their child to let them know that they're okay. As for me, my mom literally has to tell me to stop talking to her sometimes because I'll text her to tell her that it's snowing out or that I drank enough water today. It's funny. I just can't help it. She's been there for me through it all. She's my go-to, even if she really doesn't want to hear what I ate for a snack today.
Honestly, by now you're probably asking yourself what the heck does any of this have to do with Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week. I'm getting to the point, I swear.
When I was first diagnosed with Crohn's, and even for years afterwards, I was always hesitant to get involved with my local chapter of The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. My mom didn't want to push me. At the time, it all just felt like too much. But, feeling isolated didn't feel too good either. In hindsight, because, of course, it's always 20/20, I regret not pushing myself to get connected with those around me who had found themselves in similar situations.
Since launching The No Gluten Girl, I've never felt more connected to everyone out there who, at their core, is just like me. Sure, people can say that social media can create false connections and all that crap, but the messages I've received from friends, family, and strangers alike prove otherwise. Whether it's about Crohn's, other medical issues and dietary restrictions, or just pure struggle, I truly get emotional every single time someone reaches out to me and says that they can relate to my story.
Knowing what I know now, and seeing how many people have been, or still are, in the same boat as me, I can wholeheartedly say my mom was right. She's right about a lot of things, don't get me wrong, but she was definitely right when she wanted us to reach out to our local Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. There are so many mothers who are ceaselessly investing their already precious time and energy into finding answers for their sick child; there are so many sick children who just want to see themselves as anything but sick.
So, during this Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week, I'll leave you with one piece of advice that I should've taken to heart a long time ago. Do as I say not as I do, right? You're not alone, and even if you feel like you're alone, you don't have to be. Reach out, realize that there are others who are struggling just the same, and don't take the power of connection for granted. I did, and if I had tried to be as connected to others as I am now, maybe I wouldn't have felt so alone.